EDUC 331 Community Engagement Event
Name of event: Preston Reads
Date of event: February 22, 2017
Time you were there: 6-8PM
Preston Reads is a community involved event set up by Tracy Winey at Preston Middle School. The main idea behind the event was to introduce students, parents, and family members to extra-curricular reading. For this event students and parents involved in the event were invited to be the first readers of Marlin and Percy: Beginnings by Caleb Bollenbacker and Tyler Ellis. The author and illustrator were students at Baylor University when the characters came to fruition. Their story is very unique as the hero’s, Marlin and Percy, who are apes, started out as a revival for a comic book. The participants in Preston reads were invited to be the first readers of the initial release of the book. Unfortunately I was not given a copy of the book until after the event, but was still able to participate in the discussions. Author and Illustrator Caleb and Tyler were at Preston and both discussed their backgrounds and approach to writing and illustrating. They ended with a Q and A for the kids. It was really nice to see how engaged all of the students were. This encouraged the students to be creative, have goals, and work hard for what you what to achieve in life.
It was a very unique event as I have never been apart of an initially beta test for a book. I sat with a teacher from Preston who also teaches EDUC 350 at CSU, her son, as well as, another student of Preston and his mom. It was nice to discuss interests in books as well with complete strangers. I really enjoyed and found the use of tech in the presentation engaging. The speakers used the smartboard in the media center and did interactive live drawing. I could relate more with the Illustrator because I am an Art major. It was a learning experience in a sense that you can really turn side work hobby into something that hopefully will pay the bills. I learned that unique events could be set up for students like this one. This was the only Preston Reads for the year and felt privileged to be apart of the discussion. I also got a free copy of the book.
I read an article on community and school entitled “Five Steps to Better School/Community Collaboration”. It is a positive article identifying different ways the community can be more engaged schools. There are great example seen all over the world how this is happening, but we always need more. I think a good way to introduce community, school, and technology into the classroom could be to work on art in the community with students. This could be in the form of student work in a gallery or public place. Connecting with an active member of the community could help facilitate this. Students could use social media to promote this via the web. This would be a great way to at technology in my classroom.